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Securing your home during the festive season

When Kevin McCallister armed his house with glass baubles, marbles and fire crackers in the cult Christmas classic, Home Alone, viewers were entertained by the clever inventions aimed at scuppering the plans of two hapless burglars. 

Since the film was made in 1990 (yes, it was that long ago!) technology has changed the game for home security and should it have been available in the 90’s we might have seen a very different film. 

As we approach the Christmas holidays it always pays to consider how you might further protect your home, especially when you’re more likely to have expensive gifts stashed in one room or piled under the tree – an easy haul to grab if you’re an opportunist! 

Digital security solutions have never been more affordable, with many products providing live updates and tracking via an app on your phone. 

Here’s my top tips for securing your ho ho home during the festive season:

Start with the basics 

Take inspiration from eight year old Kevin and map out your home – are your windows secure? Do your locks work? Can you gain access to your home via a garage or side door? During the silly season, it’s often the silly things that get forgotten. Check your garage door, particularly if it’s an older model – sometimes one push is all it needs to open; turn off the power to non-essential electrical items including the automatic garage door when you leave the house for a vacation. Ensure bikes and power tools are locked up or stowed on your roof rack when you leave. Don’t leave your keys on the inside of the lock and secure the dog door. 

Security is no longer a novelty

The attitude to security systems has shifted and changed from being seen as the preserve of the wealthy and famous, to a standard fitting for all new homes. As digital technology continues to innovate, the volume of products has soared – with fingerprint pads replacing keys and doorbells equipped with cameras. There are many benefits of investing in an integrated security system, mainly that it enables you to take control and pick and choose which products suit your lifestyle and your budget. With round the block monitoring and products talking to each other via a network, you’ll have greater peace of mind whether you’re at the shops or soaking up the sun on the beach. 

Smile, you’re on camera 

The trend for self monitoring has continued to rise as smartphones and security products provide real time alerts at any time of day, no matter where you are in the world. Small, discreet cameras are both easy on the eye and the wallet, providing visible security that can alert you of an intruder in real time and record the moment for police. CCTV has long been a useful tool for apprehending people who intend to break and enter – but now it comes with a raft of other benefits that could deter and protect. Some are armed with alarms, others with speakers that could be used as a two-way tool for couriers or friends, and as a warning to people you don’t know. 

Get to know your neighbours 

What better time to get to know your neighbours than the holidays? With digital neighbourhood watch schemes popping up on social media and community groups sharing CCTV footage or alerts, there are many benefits to creating a plan that takes care of the little things a camera can’t. There is nothing more telling to an intruder than a dustbin getting dusty on the kerb or curtains closed 24/7. By sharing duties with your neighbours, you lower the risk of your house being a target. There is also the mail to consider when away – identity theft is another form of home invasion and a stack of letters in the mailbox is hard to miss. There is only so much technology can do – sometimes you need to rely on people. 

Darren Johnson is a security expert with more than 25 years’ protecting the assets of both residential and commercial properties. If you’d like to talk to Vision Systems about your needs, email info@visionsystems.co.nz to chat with a member of the team today. 

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